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LINDON STUDIES INCREASE IN STORM RUNOFF FEES

UTAH COUNTYThe owners of commercial and industrial facilities may find themselves paying much more in stormwater runoff fees if a proposed increase goes into effect.

The increase, to be discussed during a city budget hearing June 4, would also impact homeowners.Currently, homeowners and commercial owners alike pay $1 per month in a stormwater runoff fee that was imposed for the first time last year. The city is proposing to raise the residential fee to $3 per month and to charge commercial and industrial owners a fee based on square footage of their facilities, called a "residential equivalent." That could mean charging $3 per month per every 2,500 to 3,000 square feet of "impervious surface" at a commercial or industrial facility.

City Manager Ott Dameron said he didn't know yet how much money the new fees would raise, but the city has about 1,200 homes and each would be paying $3 a month each for a total of about $3,600 a month. Commercial facilities would get a credit if they have stormwater controls in place.

A one-time stormwater impact fee for new construction is also being considered, he said.

The money would be used to help fund a five-year stormwater master plan and capital improvement project. But the fees would continue after the new storm water system is in place to operate and maintain it, Dameron said.

That was one feature of the $2.2 million city budget proposal for 1996-97 unveiled last weekto the City Council.

Among the budgeted items is a new $784,481 city center. Ground would probably be broken later this summer. Included in the total is $600,000 in bond funds. Before the bonds can be sold, the City Council must hold a public hearing and pass a bond resolution. The council has accumulated nearly $185,000 toward construction of the city center.

Dameron said revenues are expected to increase 3 percent to 5 percent this next year, and sales taxes would likely go up about 10 percent. No property tax increase is planned.

A new shopping center would be the main source of that increase, said Dameron. Carter Construction is building the South Towne Shopping Center at 135 S. State. City officials expect the shopping center to be a showcase for Lindon.

The $5 million project will be built in phases with a possible buildout by 2000. It encompasses some six acres and will include a variety of restaurants and shops.

City expenditures, meanwhile, will likely grow at about 3 percent, said Dameron. While the budget includes a 2.5 percent cost of living increase for employees, Dameron also budgeted in a 17 percent increase for employee health insurance increases.

The budget also includes funding for employee drug and alcohol testing made mandatory for certain employees by a recent policy change. Drug testing is mandatory for all new employees.